Validity, accuracy, and predictive value of urinary tract infection signs and symptoms in individuals with spinal cord injury on intermittent catheterization

Luiz M. Massa, Jeanne M. Hoffman, Diana D. Cardenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Scopus citations


Background/Objective: To determine the validity, accuracy, and predictive value of the signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) using intermittent catheterization (IC) and the accuracy of individuals with SCI on IC at predicting their own UTI. Design: Prospective cohort based on data from the first 3 months of a 1-year randomized controlled trial to evaluate UTI prevention effectiveness of hydrophilic and standard catheters. Participants: Fifty-six community-based individuals on IC. Main Outcome Measures: Presence of UTI as defined as bacteriuria with a colony count of at least 105 colony-forming units/mL and at least 1 sign or symptom of UTI. Methods: Analysis of monthly urine culture and urinalysis data combined with analysis of monthly data collected using a questionnaire that asked subjects to self-report on UTI signs and symptoms and whether or not they felt they had a UTI. Results: Overall, "cloudy urine" had the highest accuracy (83.1%), and "leukocytes in the urine" had the highest sensitivity (82.8%). The highest specificity was for "fever" (99.0%); however, it had a very low sensitivity (6.9%). Subjects were able to predict their own UTI with an accuracy of 66.2%, and the negative predictive value (82.8%) was substantially higher than the positive predictive value (32.6%). Conclusions: The UTI signs and symptoms can predict a UTI more accurately than individual subjects can by using subjective impressions of their own signs and symptoms. Subjects were better at predicting when they did not have a UTI than when they did have a UTI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-573
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Bladder management
  • Catheterization, intermittent
  • Predictive value of tests
  • Sensitivity and specificity
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Urinary tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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